Life of an Introvert

Life of an Introvert

I knew I was in trouble when I rose from my bed after 24 hours, bleary eyed, hair a mess, and chocolate wrappers falling out, my hands clutching ‘The Forty Rules of Love’. It wasn’t even the type of book I usually read, yet I had gotten lost in it. There was a sticky note stuck to my blanket. I checked the time on the clock hanging from the wall and did a double take. 10:25. I ripped the note off and scanned the contents. “I’m going to Paris for a meeting, will be back in a week. Don’t forget to eat and sleep.” Great. My dad had come into my room but I had been too lost in my book to even acknowledge his presence.

I climbed out of bed and my knees almost gave out. I cringed, stretching. It probably wasn’t a good idea staying in one position for such a long time. My bones were weak enough already. I walked towards my bookshelf which covered one wall of my huge room, and put the book back in its rightful place. I ran my hand along the spine of a row of books, sighing contently; what a treasure books were.

Books had a certain magic that didn’t exist in anything else. They were a solace, an escape. Worlds within worlds. Characters to fall in love with. Places to visit. Memories to make. Pain to experience. Friends to make. A place to be someone other than yourself. Books had been my therapy after I lost my mother. I stayed sane because of my ability to lose myself in a book.

I looked at myself in the mirror and did a double take. My glasses were askew on my nose, my grey eyes wild behind the lenses, my black hair an even wilder mess, my eyes puffy. My shirt was on inside out, my pajama bottoms wrinkled beyond belief. Shrugging, I walked into my bathroom. It wasn’t like I was going to see anyone. I liked to stay in, thank you very much. I wasn’t one to have an extravagant social life, choosing TV characters over real people. The drama of the real world tended to give me anxiety and make me angry at the workings of this society. The few times I had tried to socialize, I had ended up at one corner of the party, ranting about feminism to drunk guys who were too gone to try and get rid of me. I was called ‘freak’ by my peers, a ‘dreamer’. There was nothing wrong with being a dreamer. Like that character from Harry Potter, Luna Love good. She was perfectly content with her life, living in her own head. That way, society cant mess with you. Society can’t ruin your life if you don’t let it. And the best way to avoid society is to stay out of it.

Okay, I wasn’t as bad as Luna. I mean sure, I tend to get carried away, spend hours reading without feeling the need to eat or sleep, finish two seasons of a TV show in one day, I have the wildest imagination and I don’t care what people think of me. But I believe I am happier than most of the kids nowadays. We are a damaged youth.

The really popular girl with the perfect hair and expensive wardrobe; she tried to kill herself last summer. The quarterback of the football team with the girls falling at his feet; he has to juggle three jobs to take care of his son. The cheerleader with the perfect body; she was abused by her stepdad. The cute girl who is always smiling; she lives in an orphanage. The rich bad boy with his expensive cars; he is neglected by his family. The funny guy who is friends with everyone; his parents were murdered in front of his eyes.

What I’m trying to say is that, looks are deceiving. For society, we have to put up a front and hide the reality of ourselves. People would do anything to fit in, even if that means ruining themselves. They would hang out with people they don’t like, eat nothing to stay skinny, fail on purpose to look cool. In trying to deceive society, we deceive ourselves. We lead people, and ourselves, to believe we are happy when we are far from it.

I wasn’t deceiving anyone. Sure, people might think I was a freak, but they envied me in a way. They knew I was happy with my life. I did lose my mother and was bullied in middle school, but I didn’t let that negativity bring me down. Nor did I put up a false frontier. When my mom died, everyone knew, because I would stumble into school, reeking of alcohol, picking fights with people for no reason. When I got better, everyone knew, because I was found in the library with my head in a book. And I was never ashamed of myself. I never tried to be someone I wasn’t. I knew I didn’t have any friends and I was fine with it. I knew I was rich and I never flaunted it. I knew I was pretty and I never tried to enhance it. Never fake.

Realizing I had been lost in thought, I quickly took a shower, craving Starbucks. Dressed in leggings and an oversized hoodie with uggs, I hid my hair in a beanie, placing my beats headphones on my head.

At Starbucks, I sat in a window seat, my hands clutching a steaming mug of coffee, music blasting in my ears, my beanie pulled low over my eyes which were shielded by my glasses. I watched the people bustling around outside. LA was a really busy city so it made people watching more fun. I sat and observed the life around me. The sky was dark since it was nearing midnight. The people outside turned from adults in suits to teenagers in dark clothing. Couples, gangsters, siblings, friends. People came and went, and I sat there and watched them. The guy who was with a girl who was clearly his girlfriend yet was flirting with the waiter. The girl who sat alone at a table, typing away at her laptop furiously. The group of guys who were clearly dealing drugs. The couple who were arguing, hissing at each other is low voices. The single mother who was snoring at a table, her baby crying in its stroller.

I was so lost in my own thoughts, I didn’t realize someone had taken a seat opposite me. This is the part where I start hyperventilating. Oh god, I wasn’t good with people. Especially good looking guys yelling into their phones. I sat frozen, Coldplay playing in my ears, waiting for the guy to get up and leave. He finished his phone call and sighed, closing his eyes. He was clearly distraught about something. He opened his eyes again and smiled at me. I inched closer to the end of the bench, waiting for an opportunity to escape. The guy said something and I just stared at him, my tongue frozen. He started to look uneasy, creeped out by my insistent staring. I stood up and rushed out of the shop, leaving the guy staring after me, confused. I leaned against my car, exhaling. It was so hard to stay normal when people tried to communicate with me; I totally freak out. This is why I preferred to read rather than socialize. With that happy thought, I set out towards home, already preparing myself to watch the new season of ‘Orange is the New Black.’

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